MINNEAPOLIS - Aaron Slegers got his first major league win by finished six smooth innings in his first start of the season for Minnesota, and the Twins stopped their six-game losing streak by hanging on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Thursday night.
Logan Morrison homered and Jake Cave reached base all four times he batted for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney for the ninth for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances.
Jonathan Schoop hit two home runs, but the Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner and lost for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.
Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several accomplished players on expiring contracts.
Baltimore has essentially been in that boat since April, with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered the best asset on the market this summer. The second-lowest scoring team in MLB managed just three hits against Slegers (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander gave up only one run, the first long ball by Schoop.
Cashner (2-9), one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits. Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major leagues this season.
Cashner was charged with an error in the third, when he was covering first base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Chris Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.
SWINGING AND MISSING
Rodney struck out Davis to start the ninth, pushing him into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He is tied with Cal Ripken Jr., who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.
Cave, who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis in the fourth inning. He doubled twice, driving in one run, to go with a single and an intentional walk.
Orioles: RHP Darren O'Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for his season-ending surgery on July 12. He'll need six months to recover.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night. Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season (seven runs, 1 2/3 innings).